MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with Albarka 89.9 FM, Ganmo, on Tuesday, organised a one-day sensitization campaign for the people of Kwara communities.
The advocacy program was held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ press centre, GRA, Ilorin, with a Mass Communication Scholar, Dr Saudat Abdulbaqi, as resource person.
The advocacy campaign was part of the collaborative media engagement for the development inclusivity and accountability project sponsored by MacArthur Foundation/Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism and Albarka 89.9 FM.
Participants were drawn from rural and marginalised communities in the state and people living with disability, PLWD.
Addressing the participants, Dr Saudat charged them to know their responsibilities and always engage public office holders on their priority projects in the community.
Dr Saudat applauded the management of Albarka 89.9 FM and all the sponsors of the initiative and further tasked other media practitioners in the state to give more priority to community reporting and less privileged people in the society.
Speaking, Alhaji Isiaq Ibrahim, one of the participants from Alagbado Community, in Ilorin East, appreciated the organiser and talked about the challenge of lack of senior secondary school in the community said “it was unfortunate that in Alagbado area, comprises of sixty-two communities, the
traditional land owners did not consider land space for public school before they sold out everywhere to individuals and this has been a reason for lack of public schools in that area. The only building we are presently using as a public school was originally a skills acquisition centre, facilitated by the former Senator Bukola Saraki, as a constituency project, and we decided to turn it into a school as a result of abandonment by the facilitator. But that single building can only contain pupil of junior secondary school with no space for Senior class.
“We appreciated your Radio station’s recent visit to our community, your report helped in making people in government know our plight and to be sincere with the present government they have been cooperating and assisting in getting us a Senior Secondary School in the community. We are on the verge of acquiring a private school and turn it into a public school. Other challenge we are facing in the community is lack of constant electricity supply and we appeal to government to assist us in this area too”
Another participant, Yusuf Bashir, who is a state chairman for joint persons with disability, also appreciated the organisers of the program and seized the occasion to laud governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq led administration for changing the fortune of the people with disability in the state in terms of appointment and promotion of PLWD in the civil service sector that made one f them a permanent secretary in the state ministry.
He, however, appeal to the government to consider their members in empowerment and employment and also made case for full implementation of disability laws in the state.
Also speaking Abdulhkreem Adisa from Oke-Ose community, expressed the challenges facing them in their communities such as lack of good roads, lack of constant electricity as result of bad transformer and further appealed alled on the government to assist in the renovation of their community secondary school the roof has been blown off for over two years now.
Also, Issa Akeweje from Ago-Oja appreciated Albarka FM’s contribution to the plight of the Ago-Oja community and affirmed that the community is now getting attention of their representatives in government after Albarka 89.9 FM report.
“positive promises have been coming from our lawmakers after your Radio Station visited our community, they have sent a team of engineers to us to identify where to site motorized borehole water and we are waiting for the work to commence. Workers in our health care centre are now staying longer in the clinic to attend to the patient. But, we are still appealing to government over the dilapidated condition of our roads, most especially from Iyana Afon to Laduba Road”
Another speaker, elder Adedayo Adekunle from Adanla, call on the government to assist their community in the completion of one of a bridge that linked the community stated that they have commenced work on it as a community but could not push it further due to financial constrain and also appealed to government to assist themselves n getting a senior secondary school with competent teachers.
Also a resource person, Dr Saudat also appealed to the government to consider Tanke-Oko-Oba road in Ilorin South, said the area is densely populated and transporters are taking advantage of the bad road to exploit the people of the community.
A disabled woman, Afusat Wahab, also appealed to the government to put the interest of disabled women into consideration when giving people empowerment schemes.